Bull shark

Creature Feature – Bull Shark

This week is the letter ‘B’, and today’s featured creature is the Bull Shark. The bull shark is a species of large predatory shark, famous for it’s stout appearance, sometimes aggressive nature and the ability to thrive in both salt and fresh water.

Bull shark

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Carcharhiniformes

Family: Carcharhinidae

Genus: Carcharhinus

Bull Shark Fact File

? Size: Individuals can reach up to 4m long, and weigh up to 317kg

? Distribution: This species can be found in shallow coastal lagoons, estuaries, and harbours in tropical and subtropical oceans and seas worldwide. They are also known to swim up into freshwater rivers

? Diet: Hunting in coral reef areas and nearshore waters, they prey upon fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. They may also consume crustaceans and scavenge waste

? Behaviour: This species is viviparous; females retain the fertilised eggs within their body until the young are capable of living independently. They have poor vision and rely on electroreception (in which sharks can detect weak electrostatic fields given off by their prey)

? IUCN Status: Vulnerable. Because of their coastal distribution, they are more at risk from pollution and habitat degradation than other species. In addition, they are intentionally caught for their fins, liver oil, and skin, and are sometimes caught unintentionally as well (bycatch)